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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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DealBITS Drawing: Matias OS X Keyboard

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A little over a year ago, I reviewed the Matias Tactile Pro keyboard, which uses Alps mechanical switches to provide a "clicky" feel that many people, myself included, really like. Now Matias has a new keyboard - the OS X Keyboard - that addresses two common complaints with the Tactile Pro. First, the Tactile Pro is relatively expensive at $99.95, whereas the OS X Keyboard costs only $29.95. Second, the Tactile Pro is rather loud thanks to those clicky keys, and some people (or their office-mates) find the noise annoying. In contrast, the OS X Keyboard, short of occasional clicks from its Spacebar, is far quieter. The OS X Keyboard also hides the seldom-used Caps Lock key down in the cluster of modifier keys to the right of the Spacebar (replacing it with a Control key above Shift), prints the appropriate symbols on the modifier keys in addition to the Option characters on all alphanumeric keys, and arranges the three volume keys (mute, up, down) in a line between the Help/Home/Pg Up row and F13/F14/F15. But (there's always a "but," isn't there?), the OS X Keyboard uses rubber dome switches instead of Alps mechanical switches, and as such, doesn't have nearly as nice a feel as the Tactile Pro. It's comparable to the Apple Pro Keyboard, other than a somewhat looser Spacebar. In terms of construction, it's white plastic, and is quite light; it doesn't have the tank-like feel of the Tactile Pro. Overall, the OS X Keyboard hasn't rocked my world, but it seems to be a decent, inexpensive keyboard that might be a good choice for anyone buying a Mac mini or looking for a backup or replacement keyboard.


In this week's DealBITS drawing, you can enter to win one of eight OS X Keyboards from Matias, worth $29.95. Matias isn't able to discount the list price any further, so there won't be a later discount, but with eight keyboards to give away, the odds are a bit better than usual for everyone who enters at the DealBITS page linked below. All information gathered is covered by our comprehensive privacy policy. Be careful with your spam filters, since you must be able to receive email from my address to learn if you've won. Remember too, that if someone you refer to this drawing wins, you'll receive the same prize to reward you for spreading the word.



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